Small Craft Safety Badges

Date / Period
Object Type
Badges, Pins, Medals and Stamps
Canadian Red Cross
Swimming and Water Safety

“Boating for leisure has become very commonplace,” notes the introduction to the 1977 edition of the Canadian Red Cross’s National Small Craft Safety Instructor Course. “So common, in fact, that waterways are becoming as congested as freeways. A sad note to all of this pursuit of enjoyable activity, is the reality of boating accidents and fatalities.”

The Red Cross small craft safety program traced its origins to offerings in Prince Edward Island during the late 1960s. A workshop, made possible through financial assistance from Recreation Canada, brought together boating agencies and Red Cross associates from across the country in September 1973 to prepare a national program which launched the following May.

“Waterways are becoming as congested as freeways.”

Besides badges and other paraphernalia for participants, the program also included a series of illustrated pamphlets covering different aspects of boating safety for youth. They followed the fictional adventures of Lester and Linda Learner, who were described as “two young Canadians who have just become interested in the enjoyment of life and sports ‘on top of the water world.’” Accompanied by a Red Cross small craft safety instructor with the punny name Howie Dewitt, the Learners were introduced to key safety procedures and troubleshooting techniques.

While the program ended in the late 1980s, it served as a precursor to small craft safety instruction offered by other agencies. The Red Cross maintains a strong interest in boating safety, through its detailed reports on aquatic accidents and fatalities from the 1990s onward.

Small Craft Safety Badges

Small Craft Safety Badges
Canadian Red Cross Small Craft Safety badges
Small Craft Safety
National Small Craft Safety Instructor Course Guide
National Small Craft Safety Instructor Course Guide

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